Lot #3356
Lot #3358

Lot 3357: Rare U.S. 1902 DWM Cartridge Counter Luger

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 11, 2022

Lot 3357: Rare U.S. 1902 DWM Cartridge Counter Luger

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 11, 2022

Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000
Price Realized:

Rare U.S. DWM Model 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter Luger Semi-Automatic Pistol with Accessories

Manufacturer: DWM
Model: 1902
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 9 mm
Barrel: 4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: checkered walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 2020
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 208
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

One of only 50 produced, all in the 22401-22450 serial number range, this Model 1902 DWM Luger has been fitted with the "Powell Indicating Device", commonly called a "Cartridge Counter", on the left side of the grip. Produced on order from the U.S. Board of Ordnance circa 1902-1903, the Cartridge Counter Luger was originally requested as a straight 1:1 replacement for a batch of Lugers already in American inventory, an upgrade from 7.65mm to the more potent 9mm, but once DWM's rep agreed the Americans moved the goal line and requested the Powell Device be added. Tempted by a large American order (and not realizing just how badly they were going to get jerked around in following years), DWM conceded to the request. The device consists of a numbered guide bar and celluloid plastic window installed in the left grip panel, and a specially prepared magazine with an extension on the left side of the follower; when the magazine is fully loaded, this follower extension rests at the "7" position, advancing upward with the follower as rounds are discharged, permitting the soldier to determine his remaining rounds by merely looking at the grip. In the end, the design was rejected, as the Army was starting to get its mind set on a large bore automatic, which they felt would have greater "stopping power" than a 9mm/38 caliber weapon, which would eventually culminate in the adoption of the Browning-designed Colt 1911. The Lugers were checked back into inventory, with two being stripped of their Powell Devices (to be used on other pistol models being tested) and the rest eventually released from inventory. Blade front and notch rear sights, with the "fat barrel" profile, American Eagle on the chamber, recessed breech bolt, dished toggles with the toggle lock on the right side, as produced during this time frame, and "DWM" on the toggle link. High polish rust blue finish overall, with straw colored small parts and a polished lower safety position. The grip screws and pins have a niter blue finish. Matching full numbers on the barrel and frame, with partial numbers on the latch, side plate, trigger, toggle assembly, extension, and grip safety. As noted previously, the left grip panel and magazine are fitted with the components of the Powell Indicating Device, the latter also nickel finished with a nickel disk accented hardwood base. Included with the lot is a leatherette case (sized for a pencil-barreled 7.65mm Luger), two extra magazines (not equipped with the extension for the Powell device), and a box of vintage 9mm ammunition.

Rating Definition:

Very fine, with 85% of the original blue finish, showing bright wear along the high edges, some light thinning on the gripstraps, bright edge wear and mild handling marks. 50% of the original straw color is present, the remainder of the small parts showing a bright gray. The grips are also very fine, with some dings and flat spots on the otherwise crisp checkering, and the celluloid window showing yellowing and minor shrinkage appropriate to age. The custom case is very good. Mechanically excellent.



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